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Re: AJAX vs. Xforms

From: Erik Bruchez <erik@bruchez.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 21:51:47 +0200
Message-ID: <435E8CD3.80102@bruchez.org>
To: www-forms@w3.org

Kugelman, John wrote:

 > I myself got lost in all the different XForms processors that are
 > out there when first introduced to XForms. It was tough to wrap my
 > head around the client-side vs. server-side debate when all I wanted
 > to do was see a quick demonstration. One reads about AJAX and maybe
 > sees a simple drag-and-drop demo and one thinks, "Wow, that's pretty
 > cool." Where are the comparable XForms sites?

Well, whether you call these cool or not is probably up to you, but
you find simple but hopefully "cool" examples on the OPS web site:

   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/

Including:

   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/goto-example/xforms-translate
   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/goto-example/flickr-spell
   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/goto-example/xforms-controls
   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/goto-example/xforms-repeat
   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/goto-example/xforms-calculator

And we are working on more. Note also the XForms sandbox, which allows
you to try your own XForms examples from the comfort of your Firefox
or IE browser ;-)

   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/goto-example/xforms-sandbox

(Remember OPS 3.0 is still in beta.)

 > FormFaces has a number of example pages bundled with it and we've
 > put those up on our web site
 > (http://www.formfaces.com/samples.html).

Good! This is where implementors should work to make such examples
work on their own platforms, agree on extensions if necessary, etc.

 > The XForms community desperately needs "beginner-friendly" pages and
 > sites.

Amen to that.

 > Also, ironically, FormFaces uses AJAX to implement XForms. For
 > example, FormFaces uses XMLHttpRequest to load and submit instance
 > data. I think this illuminates the AJAX vs. XForms debate in a new
 > way-XForms could, in a sense, be thought of as a really nice wrapper
 > around AJAX.

This point was a very important part of our talk at XTech 2005 back in
May. See the whole article here:

   http://www.orbeon.com/ops/xtech

In particular, notice this quote: "Another interesting perspective on
Ajax and XForms is that an Ajax-based XForms implementation can well
be considered a standard way of creating Ajax-based applications!
While there are today client-side libraries that implement Ajax
functionality in the user agent, their scope is usually quite limited:
it does not address how updates to the HTML page are performed, for
example. With XForms, writing Ajax-based applications implementing a
number of Ajax scenarios can be done by sticking to a well-established
standard."

 > AJAX gives you the ability, through extensive JavaScript acrobatics,
 > to load/submit data on the fly and to dynamically update your page;
 > it is often claimed that XForms does the same but with simple markup
 > and no programming needed. I believe our work shows that this claim
 > is not just a "theoretical" idea, but reality!

Welcome to the club! If projects like FormFaces, FormsPlayer, Chiba,
Firefox, and our Orbeon PresentationServer (OPS) work together on
interoperability, I believe the result will be positive for XForms,
and for all those projects as well, as the market for XForms will
expand.

-Erik
Received on Tuesday, 25 October 2005 19:52:03 GMT

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